Daily Archives: October 14, 2016

The Sue Minter Negative Ad I’d Like To See

I saw a Sue Minter TV ad the other night, and was unimpressed.

It was a negative spot aimed at Phil Scott — but it misses the mark. It tries to paint Scott as a proponent of higher taxes, which is (1) inaccurate and (2) highly unlikely to succeed. It also furthers the Republican talking point that taxes are political poison, which is counterproductive to sensible decision-making.

The sad thing is, there’s so much material for a better spot.

“What material?”, you may ask.

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The Bourgoin reverberations

I imagine Vermont’s psychiatric community is nervously anticipating the fallout from the horrible wrong-way crash on I-89 that killed five high school students. Lawmakers will be looking to assign blame and prevent future tragedies, and they’ve often used the psychiatric community as a whipping boy.

There are things the Legislature and administration could do, but based on past performance, I have little faith they will come to the right conclusions.

A couple of points. First, the Howard Center is in deep shit. Second, here’s the lesson I hope is drawn from this: when you have an under-resourced mental health system with a chronic shortage of inpatient beds, you foster a bias against hospitalization.

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The nastiest campaign in Vermont history?

Scott Milne is running a truly bizarre campaign, entirely based on attacking incumbent Sen. Patrick Leahy. Milne’s entire “platform” consists of (1) Pat Leahy’s been in Washington too long, and (2) he’s been a successful fundraiser. Like Rudy Giuliani and “9/11,” Milne can’t open his mouth without the number “42”, as in Leahy’s tenure in the Senate, tumbling out. Milne has made no effort to outline policy differences or present his own ideas.

This may not be the nastiest campaign in state history; God knows the 19th Century featured tactics that might make Donald Trump blush. But it’s certainly the nastiest campaign in living memory.

And it’s getting worse, and louder, and nastier.

Start with Milne’s weekend rejection of Trump. He couldn’t get through three paragraphs without a gratuitous slam at Leahy. In fact, the Leahy slam was the lede in Milne’s statement.

Then came the news that Vice President Biden will campaign in Vermont. Milne couldn’t stop himself:

 “Sen. Leahy and Vice President Biden have spent the past 42 years together in Washington, and they both supported Hillary Clinton against Bernie, so it is not surprising that they would be campaigning together.”

A sensible candidate would have kept his mouth shut. Why call attention to a high-profile fundraiser benefiting your opponent? But Milne appears to suffer from a unique variant of Tourette’s, which compels him to whine about Pat Leahy with every breath he takes.

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